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SEVEN DAYS' BATTLE


over the Chickahominy on Richmond, had come to a standstill after the battle of Seven Pines (or Fair Oaks), and General Robert Lee, who succeeded Joseph Johnston in command of the Confederates, initiated the series of counter attacks upon it which constitute the “ Seven Days.”

McClellan had at his disposal 32 brigades and 67 batteries organized in five corps each of two or three divisions. His cavalry consisted of ro regiments and 22 companies. Lee's army consisted of 40 brigades and 59 batteries organized in eleven divisions and an independent brigade: four divisions were grouped under Jackson and three under Magruder. The reserve artillery consisted of 23 batteries and Stuart's cavalry corps of 3000 sabres. McClellan lingered north of Richmond, despite President Lincoln's constant demand that he should “ strike blow ” with the force he had organized and taken to the Yorktown peninsula in April, cent rated 73,000 infantry in his front; then the Federal commander, fearing to await the issue of a decisive battle, ended his campaign of in- vasion in the endeavour to “ save his army ”; and he so far succeeded that on July 3 he had established himself on the north bank of the James in a position to which reinforcements and supplies could be brought from the north by water without fear of molestation by the enemy. But he lost r5,000 men in the course of his seven days retreat, and 20%, of the remainder became ineffective from disease contracted in the swamps of the Chicka1

Shenandoah Valley (q.v.). The news soon reached McClellan, who thereupon prepared to evacuate White House on June 25 and moved his trains southward to the James covered by his army. Jackson had preceded his troops in order personally to confer with Lee, and had then appointed the morning of June 26 for his appearance north of the Chickahominy to lead the march and attack McClellan's right wing under General Fitzjohn Porter. Jackson was to be supported by the divisions of A. P. Hill, Longstreet and D. H. Hill. Lee 's other divisions under Magruder, Huger and Holmes were to defend the lines which covered Richmond from the east, and so prevent McClellan effecting a counter stroke. Huger had demonstrated on the Williamsburg Road on June 25 in order to draw McClellan's attention to his left wing, and though on June 26 Jackson had failed to appear, General A. P. Hill at 3 p.m. crossed the Chickahominy and attacked the enemy's right wing at Beaver Dam Creek assisted by D. H. Hill, while Longstreet crossed at Mechanicsville. General Lee and President Davis were present and witnessed the loss of 2000 men in a frontal attack which continued till 9 p.m. Meanwhile Genera-l Jackson, with Stuart's cavalry corps, “ marched by the 'right without giving attention, and went into camp at Hund1ey's Corner half a mile in rear of the enemy's position.”

The Federal detachment retreated during the night to a

stronger position in rear at Gaines's Mill near Cold Harbor, and on June 27 the Confederates again attacked Porter's corps. Lee's six divisions formed an échelon. D. H. Hill moving towards the enemy's right was followed by Jackson's corps (three divisions), while A. P. Hill engaged the enemy in front and Longstreet in reserve moved along the left bank of the Chickahominy. The resistance of the Federals was stubborn; at 5 p.m. General Lee required Longstreet to attack the enemy's left, and at this moment he procured the assistance of some part of Jackson's corps which had become separated from the remainder. About sunset the Federals under Porter (three